Landscape fabrics are designed to prevent weeds from taking over your garden. They work by preventing sunlight from reaching germinating weeds while allowing air, water and nutrients through to the plants. They come in rolls and the cost varies depending on the brand and thickness.
"For people who are planting their annual spring flowers for the season, they are going to want to use a lighter-weight fabric that’s designed to block the weeds for the season for them, they’ll cover it with a light covering of mulch, and it will work great for that season because that bed is going to be torn up and replanted," says Kemper. "When people are doing something that’s a little more of a permanent installation and they’re using, let’s say river rock stone, they’re going to want a heavier-grade fabric that’s designed to last longer. It has more body to it."
Make sure you prepare the ground properly before laying down the fabric. Remove any debris and existing weeds.
"A lot of times people will put down a little bit of a granular weed retardant," she says. "You want to rake that area so that it’s smooth and level, and then you’ll put your fabric down and adhere it with either fabric pegs or with garden staples. The lighter fabrics tend to do better with the fabric peg which is a little plastic peg, the heavier fabrics tend to do better with the staple."
At the end of a roll, overlap the next roll a couple of inches so there isn’t a gap. Kemper says one thing to remember is that no landscape fabric has 100% weed control 100% of the time. After a year or two, weeds can sprout on top of the fabric layer.
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